It’s really simple. It has been in front of us all the time, and, yet, we haunt bookstores and libraries and watch Oprah trying to find it. Just imagine all the time we will save once we know the real secret. That, in itself, will open the door to everything we want. We will now have the necessary time to find success.
But that’s not the secret. The proven secret of success is this: be born with high cheekbones. All you have to do then is simply show up. And if you are tall, to boot, you may not even have to show up. I once knew the director of a very large company. He had the face, the height, and he had one thing more: he had a phrase. My friend, if you have a phrase, the world and all its riches are yours. His phrase was, “Keep me advised.” Or maybe it was, “Get back to me on that.” His desk was always clear, he was always accessible, and when he retired after twenty years, the company begged him to continue on for, at least, another five years.
I can hear you thinking, But I have no cheekbones, I’m short, I don’t even have a phrase. What can I do? Well, for one thing, stop striving. Stop being all you can be. Just settle, will you? Wear a paper hat if you need to. Stop making yourself crazy, stop the depression, stop the drinking, stop kicking the dog and, even, your significant other. Stop hounding the bookstores. Just live your life.
Even if you were born with the aforementioned attributes, success is not a given. Those attributes are just the minimum requirements. Let me share a memory with you. Actor Chuck Connors was tall (6’5”) and had the face. He played basketball with the Celtics and baseball with the Dodgers and Cubs, and had only limited success. One day I asked him if he had a phrase. He didn’t. I told him he would have to get one or carry a gun. He got a rifle and the rest is history.
So Kate Hepburn and Johnny Depp got the cheekbones, and John Wayne got the height you missed out on, so what? Live the life you were given. There is no competition for that gig. Be a success at that, or get a gun (quick cash, long prison term).
It hardly sounds fair, eh? I’m glad you stopped by: life is not fair. It is direct, efficient, quick (“Wait, what just happened here?”), and, well, successful. What gums up the works are people who are lost. They come to a dead stop at the top of the escalator, walk in the middle of any aisle, dawdle in the fast lane, hide in too many service jobs (Let us chant in unison—“She is away from her desk or on another line”). I could go on, but you get the point.
You’ve read this far in the hope of learning something you can use. Let me take my tongue out of my cheek and return to something I noted earlier: a phrase. Start thinking in term of phrases, and you will see an immediate change in your life. Mae West’s “Come up and see me”; Donald Trump’s “You’re fired”; General Douglas MacArthur’s “I shall return”; that’s the idea. Forget weasel words like maybe, perhaps, basically, unhelpful, and problematic. Please note that John Wayne was able to get it down to two words “Well, Pilgrim.” If you start using strong words with absolutely no substance (in the beginning), the worse that can happen is that you will be tapped for a political post.
Spouses, bosses, employees, customers, friends want people around them that are strong and positive. No longer will you be referred to as, “You know that guy, what’s his name.” As you become more and more skillful at this, you will realize that presentation is the great equalizer. In time, people may no longer notice your strong resemblance to Elmer Fudd.